Travelers Q3 Profit More than Doubles on Lower Catastrophe Losses, Higher Premiums

Third quarter profit more than doubled at Travelers Corp. due to higher premiums and investment income and lower catastrophe losses, the insurer reported.

Net income came in at $709 million, up from $293 million for the third quarter last year.

Net premiums written rose six percent to $7.06 billion while investment income was up 20 percent to $547 million.

Travelers’ catastrophe losses fell 62.3 percent to $264 million. The insurer did, however, suffer higher-than-expected losses from Hurricane Florence in North Carolina in September.

The overall combined ratio fell to 96.6, an improvement from 103.2 a year earlier. Last year in the third quarter the company was hit with $436 million in catastrophe losses from hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria.

“We remain very pleased with the execution of our marketplace strategies,” said Alan Schnitzer, chairman and chief executive officer. He said Business Insurance benefitted from the ongoing roll out of business centers and investments in technology and workflow, while Personal Insurance was boosted by pricing in Agency Automobile, which delivered renewal premium change of eight percent, as well as continued policies in-force growth in Agency Homeowners business.

He also said Travelers continues to make progress on its innovation agenda, teaming up with Amazon to launch digital home product storefront and making a majority investment in Zensurance, a Toronto-based digital provider of online insurance for small businesses, which complements its Simply Business online venture. The insurer also invested in Kittyhawk, a drone claims operations software firm.

On a call with analysts, Chief Financial Officer Daniel Frey said the insurer expects significant but “manageable” losses from claims due to Hurricane Michael as the states hit by that disaster continue to recover.